Any given Sunday.
That’s the mantra of the NFL and boy is it ringing true.
Week 4 felt like the week of the underdogs and a few rank outsiders got up and caused momentous upsets.
Tampa rolled into Los Angeles and dropped 55 on the Rams. Cleveland answered the critics with a comprehensive 15-point win in Baltimore. Oakland went into Indianapolis and won. Tennessee did Tennessee things and upset a troubled Falcons squad in Atlanta. Jacksonville went into Denver and won without Jalen Ramsey. Carolina said ‘no Cam, no concern’ as they toppled Houston down in Texas.
Before the Sunday Night Football game had kicked off 11 road teams got the W – a remarkable stat!
Here are my Week 4 Hot Takes…
Atlanta is a talented and promising roster on paper.
But that’s about where it ends because they’ve dropped to 1-3 and have lost their past two against Indianapolis and Tennessee – neither are world-beaters just yet.
Matt Ryan has an MVP trophy and the receivers are dangerous. Defensively they have some playmakers but for some reason, none of it is clicking and next week’s clash with Houston is gigantic for both.
Oakland was the centre of much drama this pre-season thanks exclusively to its former WR Antonio Brown. With Brown long gone, things were expected to be grim for the silver and black but they’ve rallied to 2-2 after a month of football.
Derek Carr has been solid and Josh Jacobs is giving them some punch on the ground. Their next three are scary (Bears, Packers away, Texans away) but they’ve surprised us already.
Cleveland has the capability and today they proved it with a comprehensive win against an always spirited and determined Ravens squad in Baltimore.
Jarvis Landry came up big with 167 yards receiving before copping a head knock but it was Nick Chubb who carried the Browns to victory with 165 rushing yards and three scores on 20 totes. Thumping Baltimore with only 20 yards from Odell Beckham Jr must also give them added confidence.
Los Angeles had an almighty season in 2018 before a Super Bowl meltdown and despite getting to 3-1, things are not running on all cylinders for the Rams.
They put up 40 points today but Jared Goff had to throw the ball 68 times and had three picks and a fumble returned for a score.
Todd Gurley only had five carries and Wade Phillips’ defence gave up 49 points.
Winning covers up most cracks but the Rams will need to get right with a pair of divisional games looming.
Jacksonville have had their issues throughout last season and early this season, namely star corner Jalen Ramsey’s demand to be traded elsewhere.
Today, they showed grit and potentially a franchise QB (even when Nick Foles returns) as Gardner Minshew II and Leonard Fournette carried the Jags to a big road win.
Josh Lambo sent through a 33-yeard FG as time expired after Fournette had run all over the Broncos defence for 225 rush yards. Minshew also made some big boy throws in the clutch to get his team close enough for Lambo’s game-winning kick.
Take Tom Brady out of the Patriots, take Aaron Rodgers out of the Packers or take Patrick Mahomes out of the Chiefs and bad things will happen.
The same should apply in New Orleans where Drew Brees has made things go for a decade or more.
However, the Saints defence said not today and locked down Dallas only conceding a TD and one FG.
With playmakers like Alvin Kamara and Mike Thomas and a quality back-up QB in Teddy Brdigewater NOLA could keep itself in the hunt whilst they wait for Brees’ return.